Smelly, Stinky Tofu (1989); Original Vincent's Sauce (1904)

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at RCI.RUTGERS.EDU
Sun Jan 9 08:22:28 UTC 2005

On Sun, 9 Jan 2005 01:25:30 EST, Bapopik at AOL.COM wrote:

>The Times article mentioned "stinky" tofu. Jen Chung (the Gothamist "queen
>of the blogosphere") said she was served "smelly tofu" over Christmas.
>OED ("miserable on food") has neither "stinky" nor "smelly." OED is beaten
>by the Wikipedia! Google hits seem to favor "stinky" over "smelly," by a
>Does anyone know the secrets to making  "smelly" tofu? No offense, but:
>But I  don't like bittermelon either. I am serious about finding the
>(  - Sep 25 1989,
>4:47 pm by Forrest Chang - 8 messages -  6 authors

For earlier references try searching on "smelly/stinky bean curd"...

Christian Science Monitor, June 5, 1980, p. 12 (Nexis)
During a two-week tour of China with a group of 15 American chefs and food
writers, I sampled Chairman Mao's favorite -- Stinky Bean Curd -- at the
Fire Palace Restaurant in Changsha.
Washington Post, Sep 9, 1984, p. C5 (Proquest)
He can decide for himself if he wants to order abalone with bone goose
feet, live shrimp, jellyfish skins, candied sweet and sour lamb slices,
fish lips with crab roe, jellied chicken blood, stinking bean curd or
red-stewed elephant trunk, all dishes listed in his book's glossary.
Newsgroup: net.cooks
Subject: Re: Cheese and Chinese food (the Mongol connection)
Message-ID: <235 at tekig4.UUCP>
Date: Thu, 29-Aug-85 13:56:12 EDT
In some parts of China, cheese cultured from soybean, called stinky bean
curd, is highly appreciated.

The 1984 Post article refers to the late Jim McCawley's classic guidebook,
_The Eater's Guide to Chinese Characters_ (Univ. of Chicago Press), now
back in print after 20 years.

--Ben Zimmer

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